This caffeine-free herbal chai is decadent and brimming with potent herbs that nourish, warm, and calm our overly-stressed bodies.
Ashwagandha has long-standing use in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic and adaptogen, helping increase the body’s resilience to stress. Although more contemporary research is needed to confirm those traditional uses, a 2020 review of clinical and pre-clinical studies found evidence that ashwagandha is effective for moderating the effects1 of stress and anxiousness and improving sleep—hence why the adaptogen can be found in many stress-reducing blends and herbal supplements.
Cardamom, a carminative2 with a distinctive flavor, increases oxygen and blood flow to the digestive tract3 and helps the body glean more nutrients from the food we eat. Carminatives are especially needed and appreciated after holiday festivities!
Rose petals impart a calming effect that helps us respond rather than react. They’re uplifting and restorative. Research on rose’s volatile oils has suggested that the flower’s scent promotes relaxation and decreases anxiety4, although more research is needed to confirm those initial findings.
Licorice root is a sweet-tasting herb that may support adrenal function5 and has shown promise in helping to restore the body6 in times of fatigue. As a bonus, licorice’s demulcent properties can help soothe winter’s sore throats.
Nutmeg also brings a calming effect to the chai, especially steeped in milk—a traditional herbal recipe for insomnia. Nutmeg promotes relaxation by having a calming effect on the nervous system.7 For best results, buy nutmeg in whole-seed form and grate it fresh for the chai. You need such a small amount that it won’t take long and will significantly elevate the final result.